Sociology and Education: An Analysis of the Theories of Spencer and Ward

Sociology and Education: An Analysis of the Theories of Spencer and Ward

Sociology and Education: An Analysis of the Theories of Spencer and Ward

Sociology and Education: An Analysis of the Theories of Spencer and Ward

Excerpt

It may be thought superfluous to add anything to the voluminous literature already existing on the works of Herbert Spencer or those of Lester Frank Ward. The fame of these two men as pathfinders and explorers in the realm of social science is secure. Spencer has, moreover, always been a recognized force in education. Sociologists and educators alike, however, have apparently failed to appreciate in any adequate manner the relation of the educational doctrines of Spencer and Ward to their sociological theories. Hence this monograph.

Spencer's four essays published between the years 1854 and 1859 in periodical form, and which later appeared, first in America in 1861, under the title Education are well known to the educational world. Scarcely a book is written on education in America without giving consideration to the views set forth in Spencer's famous little volume. The relation of Spencer's educational theories to the chief tenets of his philosophy, however, seems to have received very little attention. Furthermore, little notice appears to have been given to Spencer's theories of education as expressed elsewhere in his other writings and less to their sources or to the implication of his principles. Education is not an active agent in Spencer's scheme of evolution, yet this subject occupied a prominent place in his thought and writings.

In the philosophical writings of Ward, on the other hand, education is a leading theme and is regarded in his system of sociology as the chief means to progress. Yet, by the educational writers of America, his works have been scantily recognized by a few, unknown to the many. Among several . . .

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